I was born in the Midwest. Minnesota to be exact. We are the hands down champions of Hot-dish and Casserole. Those classic concoctions with canned soups as their base. Traditionally Cream of Mushroom. Then add various veggies and meats. One such casserole that has long been served in my family growing up, and maybe in yours as well, is Green Bean Casserole.
My mom had a Church Cookbook. Yep, an honest trove of recipes from those Church Ladies that had their signature dishes of the 70’s that they would bring to every church pot luck. I found a classic recipe in there and cringed as I read through i and started tallying up the sodium counts. There was Condensed Cream of Mushroom canned soup, 2% Milk, Heavy Cream, Canned Green Beans, Soy Sauce, French Fried Onions, and salt and pepper to taste! My arteries harden just a little bit from reading it. The final count? Over 1230 mg of sodium in a 1 cup serving!
Luckily, green beans have come a long way since the 70’s baby! I like to roast fresh green beans. I prefer to grill them as well, but when it is -30 degrees F in Minnesota some winters, oven roasting will do. Roasting beans that are lightly dressed with an oil and some sort of acid (citrus juice or vinegar) makes for beans that are slightly crispy on the skin and perfectly cooked inside. This dish is perfect for a family dinner, or as a great low sodium side dish for any holiday meal like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Here’s my recipe for lemon, garlic, and white balsamic roasted green beans:
Lemon, Garlic, and White Balsamic Roasted Green Beans
- 4 cups fresh green beans stems removed
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic.
Add the beans to the bowl and toss to coat the beans liberally on all sides.
Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange green beans in a single layer on the sheet.
Cut the lemons in half and place cut side down in the four corners of the baking sheet to roast with the beans.
Roast for 15 minutes, or until green beans become lightly brown and crisp on the outside.
Remove from the oven and place in your serving vessel.
Squeeze the roasted lemon halves over the dish (be careful to catch any seeds) and serve immediately.